WhatsApp Blocks Chat Screenshots, What It Means For Us

smita singh
Apr 19, 2019 09:49 IST
New Update

WhatsApp has brought in a new feature, which will block users from taking screenshots of chat windows. WABetaInfo, the website that tracks all WhatsApp-related updates and news, informs us that the messaging service has also brought in a fingerprint enabled safety feature. Looking at the response on social media it seems for most people’s lives have turned upside down.


Is that bad or good news? Well, it depends, if you are of the paranoid kinds that someone is creepily reading your messages then this new feature will certainly delight you on the other hand if you were in the habit of saving screenshots of some unwanted ‘frand’ messages, which you sent to your girl gang to rip it apart and on the hindsight if you saved it, it might prove helpful in nailing the guy, you might despair. Looks like this update, is definitely bad news for those who had aced the screenshot trend.

WhatsApp has brought in a fingerprint enabled safety feature. Along with it comes a ban on taking screenshots of chat windows.

A sigh of relief…

I remember being stuck decoding my single friends’ chats late into nights. After receiving screenshots from them I had to answer queries like ‘if she seemed too eager’, ‘does her partner seem like a fraud’, ‘was her reply correct’ and so on and so forth. Another friend asking for relationship advice based on her embarrassing personal chat screenshots was what I dreaded the most. I definitely am breathing a sigh of relief!

Screenshots as weapons

So, what do you do when someone close forgets a promise or there is in lack of consistency in their accounts, you show or send a screenshot for evidence of course. These screenshots have proved to be formidable weapons in a modern-day relationship.

Now no friends, lovers, parents, or even relatives can say something and turn their back or lie on our faces. These screenshots could be dangled in front of them. Rest assured they were caught typo and all.


Not anymore! Despair!

Let’s get serious

Not long back when #MeToo raged throughout the country and many women who came open about their abusers were armed with screenshots.

Not long back when #MeToo raged throughout the country and many women who came out in the open about their abusers were armed with screenshots. We have to agree that although sharing screenshots is a breach of privacy that these screenshots have helped women deal with unwanted messages and harassers.

I remember a journalist calling out a bestselling author during the #MeToo controversy and had used WhatsApp screenshots to prove her point. The author had to apologise as he could not wipe away the evidence. This is when screenshots proved crucial.

Let’s not forget that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had launched a channel, allowing WhatsApp users to register complaints against nasty or abusive messages. This step was taken when several journalists complained of receiving abusive messages on WhatsApp.  This new update may well prove to be a set back to the progress made in such complaints against perpetrators.


Not all is lost

Screenshots maybe restricted, but the messages themselves will still be there which can be submitted to concerned departments.

Picture credit:

Smita Singh is an editor with SheThePeople team.

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